Catty goes out with a victory
After a possible team-shattering loss in the Class 2A district final a week earlier, Catasauqua's football team went back to business again.
Having a 10-point lead at halftime over archrival Northampton in their traditional Thanksgiving morning tilt, the Roughies exploded for 29 unanswered points in a 52-21 romp over the Konkrete Kids before a standing-room-only crowd at Alumni Field.
With the win, the Roughies finished with a 12-1 mark, tying the school record for victories set in 1991.
Catty, which won its second straight holiday classic and trails Northampton 52-33-4 in the overall series, posted the biggest margin of victory in the series since their 1995 team blanked the Kids' 35-0.
The Roughies actually rallied from a 6-3 deficit to score 20 straight points in the opening half to take a 23-13 halftime advantage. After the second half kickoff, Catty once again resembled the team that steamrolled its way to a Colonial League title and an opening -round playoff victory with the perfect blend of an efficient and effective rushing and passing attack.
Senior Eric Matz, who battled an elbow injury for the past two weeks, was named Catty's MVP for his presence on both sides of the ball. Matz scored on a 34-yard touchdown run and had a stellar day defensively.
Junior quarterback Zack Bradley threw for three touchdowns in another pinpoint 7-for-10, 198-yard effort, and senior Alex Parker caught a pass for a score and ran for another. Ra'Von Burton continued his ground assault as he rushed for a game-high 120 yards on 15 carries. Fellow senior Zach Stopay led an aggressive charge defensively for the Roughies as he returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
Bradley also finished the season with 31 passing touchdowns and 2,131 passing yards, the latter breaking the school record of 2,021 passing yardage for a season set by Jordy Miller in 2002. Burton finished the year with 1,610 yards and 17 touchdowns. His total was third all-time in the Roughie record books for a single-season total, Ethan Pendry (1,784) in 1999 and Nate Pendry (1,685) in 1997
Catty averaged 42.9 points per contest while allowing a paltry 10.2 a game. They eclipsed the 40-or-more point total on eight different occasions and permitted 10 or more points per contest in just four games.
In all, it was a day accented a storybook season.
"It was awesome," exclaimed head coach Tom Falzone. "For the seniors, it was the best send off we could give them. Before the end of the first half, we thought we could punch another score in and take control.
"At halftime, I was ranting and raving about us not allowing them (Northampton) to get back into the game. But we got things going our way again in the second half."
Falzone noted how his team achieved two of their three goals this season: a Colonial League crown, a District title, and a Thanksgiving Day victory. Despite losing a vaulted group of seniors, Falzone is highly optimistic with a solid core returning led by Bradley and Burton.
"We will miss this senior class, they gave so much," stressed Falzone. "But it's time to pass the torch. We won a district play game and now it will be time to take the next step. It is always special for everyone to win on Thanksgiving.
"We'll take some time off, but we get back to working out soon."
When they do, it will be back to business as usual.